Japan’s foreign minister on Wednesday called on Beijing to “play a responsible role” in the first round of talks with its Chinese counterpart in six months over Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Japan has joined Western allies in enforcing tough sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, while Beijing has refused to condemn the Moscow attack.
Japan’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi had called his Chinese counterpart Wang Ike a “clear violation of the UN Charter and other international law.”
He called on China to play a responsible role in maintaining international peace and security.
According to Japan, the first talks between the two foreign ministers took place in November, amid growing concerns over geopolitical tensions.
China and Russia appear to be stepping up coordination, with Beijing refusing to join protests against the Moscow attack, although it has vowed not to circumvent sanctions on the war.
The talks came as US President Joe Biden arrived in Japan this week following a trip to Seoul.
He will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and attend a meeting of the Quad Grouping, which includes Australia and India.
The grouping is seen as intended to put pressure on China as it builds its economic and military weight in the region.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry hit back after talks on Wednesday, saying it hoped Japan would “learn from the lessons of history, focus on regional peace and stability and act cautiously”.
“Bilateral cooperation between Japan and the United States should not provoke clashes in the camp, it should not harm China’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” it said in a statement.
Japan was concerned about Beijing’s growing military might, and in talks with Hayashi Wang raised issues, including the disputed island between the two countries and the situation in the East and South China Seas.
But China is also Tokyo’s largest trading partner, and Japan is keen to avoid a tug-of-war between Beijing and Washington.
Hayashi said both China and Japan should “say what needs to be said and engage in dialogue”, warning that bilateral relations “face a variety of problems and that Japanese public opinion is extremely strict with China.”
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)